Torture

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Apr 3, 2009.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But see, KW, this is where your own statements betray your ideological purity.

    Wasn't it just 2 weeks or so ago where you replied to one of BandofClone's posts by saying something along the lines of:

    "People die..Sometimes (by terrorists attacks) the government can't protect everyone and people die every day by numerous causes..."

    Now, I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have your reply in front of me, (I'll go back in try and look it up if you want) but it stood out in my mind so strongly when you originally posted it. Because I'm not so sure you actually care about these "terrorist deaths" beyond the fact that you're using them to blame Bush. I could be wrong, as my own cynicism factors in here as well. But I'd also answer you with there are different levels of accountability.

    First and foremost is that people learn from their missteps. Waterboarding is no longer used, so that's a major result to come from this in itself, based on what the public wanted. The election itself is another form of accountability, which is how our government is set up.

    I'd also say that I don't think you want accountability, you want blood of your own. When we first started discussing this, you would post things like "It's only Bush, and no one else's fault." and "I don't care about anyone else, I want the Bush administration punished." That single minded attitude was more telling than anything. You've softened that tone recently to possibly include other people like Pelosi, but I again, I'd have to question the motivation behind your viewpoint here.

    It's you who keeps trying to characterize government, not as it is, as a multi-layered separation of authority, but as a KW-inspired entity that falls along your own perception of "Bush vs everyone else."

    In addition to what I posted above, I just don't see the comparisons in scale to this and other examples like the Nazi war crimes trial. Comparing this to the Stalinist purges and the like is absurd and not even an effective distraction.

    Once we accept that there are such moral scales, we can also accept that no government is perfect, and every government deals in potentially flawed policy. As such, the concept of accountability can include options other than full blown witch hunts and the like.
  2. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    44, you're deliberately misunderstanding or misinterpreting what I said, and again, we're so far apart on this I don't see the point in having any discussion with you.

    So, once again, I'll step back. I'll just try to remember that in thirty years, I suspect the Bush administration will be considered a basically criminal one in what it did by most historians. That its practices were ended either by it or by others will be irrelevant.

    If I could sum up my thoughts on you in general, it would be this: "You just don't get it." So, please keep those words of mine in your head, since you seem to keep quite a bit of what I say in there. Make sure they're bolded, if possible.
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But no one is trying to take the comfort you get from that idea away from you... Personally, I don't cling to negativity, but I certainly don't begrudge your own desire to do so.

    Hey, FDR deliberately had thousands of American citizens rounded up and detained during WWII, in difference to the Constitution, simply because Pearl Harbor was bombed. I'm sure there are those who now think of nothing but how criminal FDR was back then, going on more than 30 years now...

    But of course, doesn't it also matter that Congress went along with the Japanese-internment Act? Doesn't it matter that it was a flawed policy that was developed out of an uncertain and unprecedented time? Does it matter than numerous military officials and policy makers also went along with the policy at the time? Does it matter that the result of the attack was used to learn from, and the resulting world war was overcome?

    Hey, JFK first got the US involved in a little conflict far away in an unknown country called Vietnam-strictly as advisers, mind you. Of course, 30 years and 56,000 dead Americans later, I'm sure glad that he is one President who hasn't escaped his own criminal perception, right?

    So keep your desire that the Bush administration will be thought a criminal in 30 years, for whatever that is worth. Why does that even matter? What you miss is that focus alone doesn't have anything to do with examining actual policy or the context it was developed in.

    And to address your edit, maybe I don't get it, or know what "it" really is. I certainly don't understand the single minded focus.
  4. DeadOrAlive Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2009
    star 2
    I'm a liberal, so I guess my opinion doesn't matter to some of you, but I'm also a hawk when it comes to national security and protecting this country. Personally, I don't shed a single tear for what happened to KSM and other scumbags like him. That evil b*****d was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and thousands of innocent lives were lost because of him, no ammount of torture could ever make up for the lives that were lost that day, but this is a nation of laws and we cannot stoop down to their level.
    We cannot give in to the dark side, no matter how tempting it is.
    The last administration made a mockery of our American ideals, we invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, killed thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, pulled people off the street and sent them to black sites to be tortured, suspended habeas corpus, possibly tortured and/or killed innocent people because of mistaken identity, BROUGHT Al Qaeda to Iraq by our mere presence there, and what's most disturbing is that new evidence is showing that some of the people that were being tortured were to establish a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, therfore justifying the war, not to gather crucial intelligence that might save lives.
  5. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    My thoughts exactly.

    I listen to one progressive talk show host who believes that that's why KSM was waterboarded 183 times in one month--they were trying to get him to establish a connection between Iraq and 9/11 so that the Bush administration could justify the invasion. No idea if that's true or not, but I could definitely see the possibility.

    I think the fact that he had to be waterboarded 183 times shows that torture is not only immoral, it's ineffective.

    I haven't read all 16 pages of this thread, so hopefully nobody posted this already, but I thought this article was interesting:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/195089
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Gonk, my statement about his notes was made in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I was poking fun of the exact same passage you copied above- Notebook or no notebook? 2 staff members or no staff members? High level focus or low level focus? My overall point was that it doesn't matter.

    Oh. Well ok then, np.
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Nothing you get under torture is reliable.

  8. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    what's sad is the CIA was debriefing those tortured and everything was going as planned, they were spilling there guts and clearing not establishing a connection of Iraq to al quaida.

    Then of course because Cheney gives them a call and demands waterboarding when it wasn't necessary. That is why the torture is coming out now. The CIA work however they want when they want. When the vice president calls up and demands information that is false to begin with the CIA has a long memory and let the info go to get Cheney to face up to his stupidity. I am sure the CIA briefed the new president with all the info basically stating who was running the show. Its obvious OBama let them go cause they were following orders from the highest levels of govt. The CIA wants the ability to do its own thing without govt interference and laws. The CIA know how to get information the right way and get it. It was Cheney who wanted something that wasn't there and demanded torture like Saddam Hussein himself.
  9. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    From the Sydney Morning Herald today:Radio host waterboarded live on air

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/817187/radio-host-waterboarded-live-on-air

    [face_laugh]




  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It's like Jesse Ventura said. If he had an hour with Dick Cheney and waterboarded him, he'd have Cheney confessing to the Sharon Tate murders.
  11. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't think we're really going to know for sure about waterboarding until we try it out on Hannity and Limbaugh.

  12. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    So is Cheney, I guess, the one chiefly responsible for enhanced interrogaction, or were others responsible for either it's introduction or its use?
  13. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Cheney was the artitect of the war in Iraq so that any and all info tying al quaida to Iraq could be established.

    Listen I have no problem with us toppling Saddam, hell his boys were going to take over and they were younger and even more crueler so good riddens. But if they knew nothing happened between al quaida and Saddam then leave it at that. Cheney was just obsessed in getting info.

    He's deluded and power hungry. Whats really sad is Bush is quiet on all of this enjoying his retirement. Lets face it, this shows Cheney ran the white house and he was the real dictator in the white house. Its sad that it came to this but its true.
    s
  14. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/19/opinion/main5024321.shtml

    This article pretty much sums up what I thought about the Bush presidency. When I went through a checklist of Bush's national security policies, I couldn't say I particularly objected to any of them on paper....it's just that the man's sheer arrogance made him a seemingly untrustworthy figure to wield such powers. That's not to say that putting "prettier wrapping" around the same policies makes them any more morally justifiable, but at least we know it's on the same page as Eisenhower's U-2 flights and Kennedy's Bay of Pigs invasion rather than Bush's "you're either with us or you're against us". I'll take morally gray to morally black any day of the week.
  15. DeadOrAlive Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2009
    star 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Sm8Os3mXv8
    Too bad Hannity's too much of a coward, so I guess we'll never know.
  16. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2009
    star 4
    http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=82&task=videodirectlink&id=1680

    This is how a waterboarding looks like. He wouldnt last long.
  17. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    I agree with all of this.

    As far as Hannity, I like what Thom Hartmann said: "Hannity, let me waterboard you for charity!"

    I like the Jesse Ventura quote too.
  18. DeadOrAlive Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2009
    star 2
    Yeah, I agree 100% with both of you. If it ever does come down to prosecutions, I hope they go lighter on Bush than Cheney. I feel bad for the guy, half the time he probably had no idea what was going on. I feel he was used and now he's been vilified as some kind of evil Nazi dictator. He was the face of the administration, the "pretty boy", he was the image of conservatism in America, Cheney was the one pulling the strings.
    Bush was an idiot, I don't think he's some sort of evil genius, he's just too stupid to be. He got manipulated by Cheney and the rest of the neo-cons in power. Ultimately, though he has to pay fo his actions, even if he wasn't quite "there" or was kept in the dark.
    This is a lesson as to what happens when we elect stupid people for president, just 'cause you'd like to have a beer with a guy does not mean they should be in charge of this country! We dodgeg a major bullet with Sarah Palin.
  19. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Mr44 posted:


    -------

    Hey, FDR deliberately had thousands of American citizens rounded up and detained during WWII, in difference to the Constitution, simply because Pearl Harbor was bombed. I'm sure there are those who now think of nothing but how criminal FDR was back then, going on more than 30 years now...

    But of course, doesn't it also matter that Congress went along with the Japanese-internment Act? Doesn't it matter that it was a flawed policy that was developed out of an uncertain and unprecedented time? Does it matter than numerous military officials and policy makers also went along with the policy at the time? Does it matter that the result of the attack was used to learn from, and the resulting world war was overcome?

    Hey, JFK first got the US involved in a little conflict far away in an unknown country called Vietnam-strictly as advisers, mind you. Of course, 30 years and 56,000 dead Americans later, I'm sure glad that he is one President who hasn't escaped his own criminal perception, right?

    So keep your desire that the Bush administration will be thought a criminal in 30 years, for whatever that is worth. Why does that even matter? What you miss is that focus alone doesn't have anything to do with examining actual policy or the context it was developed in.

    -------

    My reply to this message:

    -------

    The situation today is very much different than it was after WWII. After Pearl Harbor, there was extreme chaos amid much more than just these Japanese internment camps. The rights of these tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese decent were not the primary focus of the American public at the time. They were angry for the unprovoked attack by the Japanese Empire and determined to defeat Germany as war raged in Europe.

    The issue on the violation of these people's rights were flooded by the chaos around them. Only after the dust settled did the knowledge of the internment camps spark outrage among the American public. Even now, I don't blame FDR simply because he was not solely responsible for what happened and likely had his gaze upon larger-scale conflicts in the war and simply didn't choose to confront this one.

    The difference from today is that the Bush administration deliberately mislead the state into instigating a war in Iraq when very little else was erupting elsewhere.

    9/11? Terrorists? Nation already at war?

    9/11 was not an act of war; it was the act of terrorism. There IS a difference. The terrorists that attacked the World Trade Center did not represent a threat upon which an entire was in danger. The majority of the damage inflicted by that attack was because Americans were scared and presumed that they were all in danger.

    That is EXACTLY what terrorists want to do; publicize an attack and make a small show of force appear much greater than it actually was. What the Bush administration did was to take that fear and exploit it for personal gain at the expense of the state.

    Kennedy wasn't there when it started, but his administration acted to ensure the Vietnam War would happen at the expense of the state. The difference was that they acted in a time when the Soviet Union was situated on the opposite side of the world. The Vietnam War was caused because of the existence of a genuine threat that could challenge the US. Kennedy and Johnson's administrations acted under the belief that they were preventing the 'domino effect' that would have spread to more states than Vietnam.

    They knew that the Vietnam war would have ended up harming the US, no matter what; but it was done under the influence of combating the spread of communism.

    Yeah? What's the difference?

    The difference was that the Bush administration KNEW that there was no threat from Iraq and deliberately started a war to gain for themselves at the expense of national security. If the Soviet Union were out there today, the Iraq war could not have transpired. When the US was the top dog in a monopolar world, the American military hadn't adapted to fight a war such as what we face today.

    The US CAN def
  20. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2009
    star 4
    Yuthura posted:

    The difference was that the Bush administration KNEW that there was no threat from Iraq and deliberately started a war to gain for themselves at the expense of national security. If the Soviet Union were out there today, the Iraq war could not have transpired. When the US was the top dog in a monopolar world, the American military hadn't adapted to fight a war such as what we face today.


    The reason for this was i think 911, it introduced a whole new outlook. Lets be honest U.S. foreign policy was hijacked by a small group of people. I dont think Bush ever took the whole humble foreign policy stuff seriously.

    The U.S. couldnt just attack Iraq without 911.
  21. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Maybe, but that didn't mean that the events of 9/11 gave America or the Bush administration the right to attack a sovereign nation that was not proven to be associated with that attack. Had there been sufficient proof to link the two, then that might have been a justification; but there was not.

    History shouldn't be judged by what is known today, but what was known at the time the action was taken and the Bush administration KNEW that there was no link between 9/11 and Iraq to justify a preemptive invasion when they declared war. That was a war crime and they should be held accountable for their mass murder.
  22. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Um, not that it matters because your mind is obviously made up, but you do that the vast majority of the US Congress (separation of powers and all) actually passed the Iraq War authorization and gave it to the President, right?

    Of course, the Congress based their own vote on Iraq's continued violation of UNSC authorizations as well, of which the UNSC continued to renew.

    None of this makes the issue automatically "right" or "wrong," but when you say "the Bush administration," I hope you're also referring to the US Congress as well as the members of the UNSC.
  23. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    It's very late here and I hope I'm framing this question so that it makes sense, but...

    Who initially presented the Iraq War authorization to Congress, along with the evidence of violation of the UNSC authorizations and the non-existent WMDs, for a vote in the first place? Wouldn't someone from the Bush administration have gone to Congress with the information, and asked Congress to authorize the war based on the information?

    Given that Bush said back in 1999 that if he were elected President, he wanted to go back to Iraq, I'm a little skeptical of the idea that Democrats had much of a role in this. Although that being said, I do believe that in many ways Cheney was the one who really ran the country and I would be willing to believe that Bush really thought there were WMDs, that he got sold a bill of goods just like the others.
  24. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yuthura, where are you getting your information from? My understanding is that WMD was the core basis of the operation in Iraq. Certainly finding links between Al Qeada and Hussein would have been helpful to the cause but WMD was the clincher. In this regard, I tend to follow the chain of events described in Bob Woodward's State of Denial and tend to believe that certain people within the Bush adminstration were skeptical of the evidence of WMD but they never really spoke up to the main players - I still believe to this day that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld & Powell thought there was evidence of WMD. I'd be more inclined to place blame on the CIA and Tenet's "slam dunk" approach to carrying out its intelligence functions.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But that's why you're a smart guy, LOH...

    The problem is that everyone thought Iraq had WMD's, because that's the regional balance of power game Hussein played, and ultimately lost. We could all go dig up the tired old quotes where Chirac, Clinton, and Albright all condemned Iraq for it's WMD's as well, but none of that is really necessary at this stage.

    I agree that as President, Bush faltered when it came time to justify the war, especially when it began to drag on, but one doesn't need all sorts of strange conspiracies in order to make it so either.
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